Part B (By-Laws)
Approved by the Board of Trustees - December 2017
I. Procedural Issues
All policies and procedures shall be readily available to any interested party, through unencumbered and free access. At least one copy of all such documents shall be maintained on a current basis in the Office of the President of Intercultural Open University Foundation.
At intervals not greater than one year, all members of the faculty shall receive a copy of each policy or procedure that has been updated or newly introduced since the previous dissemination of policy and procedure documents. New members of the faculty shall receive a faculty Manual with their original contracts, said Manual to be updated to be at least as current as manuals in general circulation among the faculty.
C. Faculty Manual Format
For practical reasons, all components of the governance system (Constitution and By-Laws) and personnel and academic policies and procedures shall be issued as a single, coherent set of documents in a single format, and numbered for easy indexing and retrieval.
II. Governance Issues
A. Committee Service
All faculty members who are under contract with Intercultural Open University Foundation are expected to be active in faculty committees, but are not required to do so. To create a strong system of faculty governance, faculty members are encouraged to miss no more than one faculty meeting per year, as this weakens the faculty meeting process, has an impact on committee work, and causes faculty to miss relevant information communicated at said meetings. Members of faculty committees are expected to share subcommittee work and to take turns in resolving and dealing with specific tasks. In committees that agree to rotate the chair, all members are expected to chair the committee, if needed. Members of the committee are also expected to share responsibility for minute taking. The members of the Council of Representatives are expected to share responsibility for minute taking. In choosing members for committees, diversity and continuity [continuity and diversity] (re: race, gender, geography,) are to be taken into consideration.
- Faculty participation
All faculty members are expected to participate in the governance system, hence in committee work. Under normal circumstances, a faculty member will serve on no more than two committees (either standing committees or University-wide committees, or any combination thereof) at any one time. Service on the Council of Representatives will be for a two-year term, which may not be repeated without a one-year break in service. Terms on the Council of Representatives will be staggered among the members. Committee service [service on all other committees], unless specified otherwise, will be for two years, with staggered terms. Members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms on any committee [with the exception of the Council of Representatives, as noted above] then must leave it for one year. Each committee selects its own chair, who normally serves for one year, but may be re-elected without a break in service only once. In the case of the Chair of the Council of Representatives, who is chosen by the members of the Council, he/she may serve for only one year and may not serve in that capacity again until he/she is again elected to the Council at a later date, according to the provision mentioned above.
The Council of Representatives gains its representative function through the distribution of faculty into constituencies. Each year, at the faculty meeting immediately following the election of Representatives, the names of the faculty not serving on the Council are “put into a hat.” Each Council Member, in turn, draws a name from “the hat” until all the names have been drawn. The names each Council Member draws are her/his constituents for that year and must be consulted, through a process of two-way communication, on all decisions upon which the Council is called to make on behalf of the faculty.
Each constituency will select a first and second alternate for its Council Representative and inform the Council and the Faculty of its selections. It is the responsibility of the Council member who will be absent, or the Chair of the Council, to fully inform in advance the Alternate of pending discussions and deliberations and to supply any and all necessary information to assist the Alternate in representing the faculty.
- Ex Officio Membership
Council of Representatives: The ex officio administrative member is the President or the President’s designee, and the designated person is named at the start of each year. Another administrator may serve as an observer when the ex fficio member cannot be present. Ex officio members of committees participate, but do not vote.
- Nomination and Election to Committees
The Governance Functions Committee has the responsibility to provide for annual self and colleague-nominations to the Council of Representatives and to all Standing Committees. In the case of the Council of Representatives, every member of the faculty will have the opportunity to self-nominate to the committee. In addition, each member of the faculty will be asked to nominate three colleagues taking into account the following criteria: gender, race/ethnicity, and faculty status (full/part-time). From the list of self and colleague-nominations, the Governance Functions Committee will create up to three (3) unique, non-overlapping slates of seven nominees each (in the first year of the Council only). Each slate will be balanced using the above criteria, and for proportional representation among the Faculty. The faculty will be asked to vote for one slate only. The slate gathering the most votes will become the Council of Representatives.
In the succeeding years of the Council, when the staggered two-year terms go into effect, the same electoral process will be utilized. However, the actual number of Faculty per slate will be the number (4 or 3) necessary to replace the members of the Council of Representatives rotating out of service.
In the event of a mid-term vacancy on the Council of Representatives, the first alternate for that constituency will immediately fill that vacancy to complete the unexpired term and the second alternate will become the first alternate. The constituency will designate a new second alternate. A Council position will be deemed vacant if a representative resigns or if a specific constituency position is unrepresented for three consecutive meetings.
In relation to other Standing Committees, the Governance Functions Committee will also provide for annual self and colleague-nominations to vacant seats. Self and colleague- nominations will be solicited and the Governance Functions Committee will balance nominations for service on these standing committees utilizing the same criteria listed above.
[Mid-term] vacancies on standing committees will be filled by the Governance Functions Committee. Such appointees complete the term of the person being displace. Learners or graduates will be nominated and appointed to standing committees by duly constituted groups.
Meeting Observers and Guests
With the exception of executive sessions necessitated by deliberations about content that is private and sensitive, committee meetings are open. However, in order to preserve continuity, observers have no vote, and discussion privileges are at the pleasure of the committee. Experts may be invited to participate in committee meetings as guest of a committee member or the entire committee. Even if asked to testify before the committee, guests do not have a vote.
B. [Council of Representatives and] Standing Committee Membership
All committees notify the Chair of the Council of Representtatives and l faculty meeting chairs when they recommend a vote by the faculty. Those chairs will steer the matter to appropriate destinations when voting has been completed or is not required.
All committees [with the exception of the Council of Representatives whose methods of operation are described in both the Constitution and By-Laws will choose their own method of operating and will report on same to the faculty.
Committee membership, as much as possible, will reflect the well-balanced ideal composition of the faculty. Additional membership requirements are given below.
1. Council of Representatives
Seven faculty members elected at-large across the IOU Foundation Faculty. Two Alternates serve on-call if a member of the Council cannot attend a meeting of the Council. The ex officio member of the Council is the President or President’s designee.
2. College-Wide Standing Committees
- a. Academic Appeals Committee
Four faculty members, one IOU Foundation learner, one IOU Foundation graduate or learner and, when necessary as a consultant/observer, the Registrar. One faculty member on this committee also serves on the Waiver Committee. The results of all committee deliberations are sent to the President, with copies to all other parties concerned with the particular issues.
This Committee is staffed on a “ready to serve” basis by three faculty members of the Governance Functions Committee, one IOU Foundation Learner, and one IOU Foundation Graduate, plus, when necessary as a consultant/observer, the Registrar. In the event that an appeal is lodged with the Governance Functions Committee, three additional faculty members will be appointed to the Academic Appeals Committee. The three “ready to serve” faculty members of the Governance Functions Committee have the responsibility for initiating the necessary procedures in the event that a case is brought to their attention. The results of all Academic Appeals Committee deliberations are sent to the President, with copies to all other parties concerned with the particular issues.
- b. Constitution Review and Monitoring Committee
Four faculty members, one IOU Foundation learner, one IOU Foundation graduate or learner, and the President or designee (ex officio).
- c. Faculty Appointments and Status Committee
Four faculty members, one IOU Foundation learner, one graduate or learner, and the President or designee (ex officio).
- d. Faculty Development and Curriculum Committee
Four faculty members, one IOU Foundation learner, one graduate or learner, the President or designee (ex officio).
3. Standing Committees of the Intercultural Open University Foundation
- Academic Process and Review Committee Four faculty one IOU Foundation learner, one graduate or learner, and appropriate administrator or designee (ex officio).
- Admissions Committee Four faculty, one IOU Foundation learner, one graduate[s] or learner, and the appropriate administer or designee (ex officio).
- Quality Assurance Committee
- Five faculty members, one IOU Foundation learner, one graduate, and the President or designee (ex officio).
- Scholarship Committee: three faculty, one graduate or learner, and appropriate administrator or designee (ex officio).
C. Ad Hoc Committees
There are two kinds of ad hoc committees. The first type is appointed by the Council of Representatives or any other standing committee, the faculty, or the administration and responds to a particular temporary need that is not within the purview of any extant committee. The second type is appointed to deal with particular contingencies.
- Faculty Applicant Screening Committees
The Faculty Appointments and Status Committee will recommend the composition of applicant screening committees.
D. Faculty Meetings
- Annual Faculty Meetings
Any faculty member may place an item on the national faculty meeting agenda by mailing a request to the meeting chair [Chair of the Council of Representatives] no later than two weeks prior to the meeting. It is the task of the faculty meeting chair to confer with the Council of representatives chair to prioritize agenda items. Meeting chairs are selected by the Council of Representatives and rotated among all faculty members. Program policy proposals receiving a majority vote of approval at a faculty meeting will be forwarded [in writing] to the Office of the President to be circulated through the appropriate channels, unless the whole Foundation is to be affected, in which case appropriate other approvals will be required prior to adoption.
- Faculty Decisions Between Meetings
The Council of Representatives has authority to make decisions and act on behalf of the faculty between faculty meetings, in accordance with the responsibilities and functions laid out for it in the Constitution. In those instances, when a decision is called for on behalf of the faculty either by the Faculty, or the President, by a combination thereof, or by any other constituency of the University, the Council of Representatives must immediately publish for the full faculty all pertinent information and must solicit input, feedback, information, and counsel from the faculty. The faculty will be asked to respond to the Council’s request within ten days of receipt of that request by communicating with the Council members using the constituency process described above. The Council will also publish for the full faculty the results of the poll of faculty responses, plus the rationale for any decision it makes on behalf of the faculty. No decisions may be made by the Council on behalf of the faculty without the Council’s publishing pertinent information and providing a means by which and encouraging any and all faculty to have access and to provide feedback to the Representatives.
In relation to decisions or issues regarding learners and/or graduates, the Council of Representatives will consult with and gain input from the Learner Council and the Graduate Alumni/ae Board, or will gain such input by consulting with their designated representatives who serve on appropriate Standing Committees.
Amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws may not be made by the Council of Representatives. It is intended that the Council of Representatives be held accountable to the faculty through the record of public discourse, opinion, poll results, and decisions, as well as through the electoral process.
To enhance communication between the Council of Representatives and the faculty, the minutes of the meetings of the Council of Representatives will be made public for the full faculty no later than two weeks following any meeting of the Council, after their review and acceptance by the Council of Representatives.
When five or more faculty believe that a business item is of sufficient importance or urgency, they may petition the council of representatives to have it presented to the faculty as quickly as possible. Under the direction of the Council of Representatives Committee, working in concert with the Administration, all members of the core faculty may then be polled by mail or telecommunications. Attempts must be made to reach all core faculty.
When five or more faculty believe that an item of business is of sufficient importance or urgency, they may petition the Council of Representatives to have it placed on their agenda for discussion, consideration, and possible action. In this event, the Council of Representatives must inform the full faculty that the item has been placed on its agenda and must solicit feedback and consultation from the full faculty, using the normal constituency process, prior to taking any action or decision on the item in question.
A majority of the faculty will then determine the action on the motion(s) presented, but only if at least three-fourths of core faculty have had an opportunity to respond to the question. The vote will be counted no differently than if made at a national faculty meeting.
All members of the faculty are eligible to vote — whether by show of hands, voice, mail, telephone, or computer linkage.
A faculty vote may occur at faculty meetings or by mail. A formal vote requires a quorum equal to one-half of the eligible voting group’s membership plus one.
The Council of Representatives and Committees of the faculty may need to vote to make a decision. A formal vote requires a quorum equal to one-half of the eligible voting group’s membership plus one.
An action or decision made by the Council of Representatives, which has not already been enacted by the President and Board of Governors, may be referred to the whole faculty for reconsideration.
A quorum — whether for a telephone meeting or a group assembled — is equal to a majority of the eligible voting group’s membership.
Amendments may be proposed in writing to the full faculty by faculty meeting resolution, by committees, or by petition of ten or more members of the faculty. Amendments to the By-Laws may not be voted on without a minimum thirty-day written notice prior to voting. By-Laws changes require a two-thirds majority of those voting–providing that at least half the faculty cast a ballot. Voting on motions to amend the Constitution or its By-Laws may be by a show of hands or by email ballot.